The WHOA is a pre-insolvency debtor-in-possession scheme proceeding, which allows the debtor to impose a restructuring plan on dissenting (classes of) creditors and shareholders. The procedure is designed such that court involvement is in principle minimal and can be completed in a relatively short timeframe. If necessary, specialised judges can be involved before the restructuring plan is voted on, to get clarity on any issues that might prevent successful implementation of the restructuring plan  and the intended restructuring.

The WHOA provides businesses with a structured and flexible process to negotiate debt agreements and restructure their financial obligations. This promotes collaboration among stakeholders and safeguards business operations and the interests of all involved parties. As such, this highly flexible instrument presents an alternative to insolvency mechanisms like the US Chapter 11 and the UK Scheme of Arrangement and Restructuring Plan. 

The WHOA has proven itself as an effective restructuring tool used in both local and cross border restructurings. For more information, please reach out to one of our team members.

Branding icon Branding icon

Topics

Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG)

Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG)

Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important factor in the decisions of investors, companies, consumers, shareholders and policy and law makers. The broadly supported awareness of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) objectives is reflected in many international voluntary standards as well as in an increasing number of European regulations.

16-07-2024

The crime of Ecocide is one of the major new features of the revised Belgian Criminal code. It is a strong signal, reflecting the Belgian legislator's concern for the environment.

How we can help

Strong track record

Our team has extensive experience in advising clients on every aspect of the WHOA (both in domestic and cross-border cases) and worked on some of the largest and most high-profile WHOA proceedings to date. We have assisted and advised amongst others: 

  • the largest financial creditors of the Steinhoff group, both in the suspension of payments proceedings in 2021 and its WHOA restructuring process that was completed in 2023;
  • several material financial creditors of the Vroon Group in their discussions with the Vroon group on the successful implementation of the restructuring plan offered through private WHOA proceedings and parallel English Scheme of Arrangement proceedings; and
  • the largest financial creditors of the Diebold Nixdorf Group on the implementation of a restructuring combining a US Chapter 11 process for the group’s North American business and a WHOA process for their European business. 
Integrated advice

To effectively address your inquiries, we put together a team of experts in corporate law, tax, finance and litigation who provide you with fully integrated advice. Led by Vincent Vroom, the team is vastly experienced in handling large and complex restructurings and insolvencies, both domestically and internationally. Our collaborative and tailored approach ensures seamless coordination to meet your business needs.

Ever-changing market conditions require businesses to regularly assess their debt structure
Our litigation teams focus on the most appropriate form of dispute resolution, in and outside of court, from arbitration to mediation. Always looking for the best possible outcome.
Would you like to know more?
Would you like to know more?

Read our memo about the WHOA and find further information here:

What others say

Quote icon
"The lawyers are very service-minded and client-friendly."
Chambers Europe (2023)
Quote icon
"Loyens & Loeff has experience not only in treating these issues in the Netherlands but the lawyers also knew well how to communicate with the different points of view so they made my coordination easier."
Chambers Europe (2023)
Quote icon
"Clear, practical commercial advice"
Legal 500 (2021)
Quote icon
"Focused on delivering for the client and solving problems rather than wasting time on academic points."
Legal 500 (2021)
Return to previous slide
Go to next slide